Growing pains

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe, a stickler for discipline has a thorn in his flesh.

This pain is induced by none other than his two sons Robert Junior and Chatunga, who have courted controversy because of their indiscipline.

Just like the apostle Paul in the Bible, Mugabe has to live with this thorn because there is nothing he can do about it.

Mugabe, who turned 89 last week, has been honoured all over the world because of his intellectual discipline as evidenced by the number of academic degrees he holds.

Growing up in Zvimba, Mugabe is said to have been a disciplined child whose close friends were his books.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fort Hare University in 1951 but did not end there.

He went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Administration, Education, Bachelor of Laws, Master of Laws and Master of Science.

Two of his degrees were obtained while he was in prison during the colonial era.

The first secretary of Zanu PF also boasts of several other honorary degrees, but sadly his son Robert Junior failed to emulate his father in academics. In an interview with a weekly paper last year, the leader of the revolutionary party, who no longer enjoys good health, shared his disappointment over his son’s failure.

“We have now had to get him private teachers. He enjoys this basketball thing. He likes it, he goes to the gym after that, but aahh… we were given the impression he was working hard. ‘How are you doing?’ We would ask him, and ‘yes, the papers were not hard,’ he would say.”

“We expected he would get through, but no, he became an undertaker! ‘U’s! That is why they call them undertakers!” Mugabe said about his son Robert Jnr.

Robert Jnr however, excelled in the sporting arena where he once played for the country’s basketball team.
As if that were not enough, his other son Chatunga was recently expelled from St George’s College for alleged gross indiscipline.

Sources at the Catholic-run private college told the Daily News the youngster had been given a final warning last year for gross indiscipline and insubordination.

Mugabe preaches about discipline especially of the youth. He recently told delegates during a lecture at Africa University in Mutare that he had reached ripe old age because of self-discipline.

“There is no real charm for one to be still going strong as I am at 88 years. It is your own self-discipline. The discipline we tell our children every day.

Discipline must not be external, whether within the party, within the village or within the family. You must internalise discipline and always live within those moral principles you were taught,” he said.

But 16-year-old Chatunga reportedly now on home schooling was even suspended for a week last year for bad behaviour prior to his expulsion last month.

The behaviour of his sons reminds one of the African proverb that goes: Mugoni wepwere ndiye asina (Those without children are the best disciplinarians). —Weekend Post

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